I want God’s hand upon my life. Both Ezra and Nehemiah talk about the success they had in their ministries because of “the good hand of God” being on them. Count me in. I want to experience God’s good hand like Ezra and Nehemiah did.
But I don’t want his hand on me like David did when he lived in rebellion, denial, and unconfessed sin. David said in our psalm for prayer
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah Psalm 32:3–4 (ESV)
I am very small compared to God. If God’s hand is going to be on me, I want it to be the “good hand of God” as opposed to God’s heavy hand squishing me, and suffocating me, and drying me up. Count me out!
Rather, using the analogies of this psalm, I want his eye upon me. I want him to instruct, and teach, and counsel me with his eye upon me (v.8). I want him to be right there beside me, leading me with his “good hand,” and I want him above me looking out for me and guiding me in the right direction.
There are so many clues in this psalm that David is thinking in terms of space. When he was living in unconfessed sin before God, he was under God’s heavy hand. His hand was “upon” him (v.4). But when he confessed his sin, it seems like he and God changed positions with each other. After confession, God was
· Found (v.6)
· A hiding place (v.7)
· Upon (v.8)
· Near (v.9)
· Surrounded (v.10).
The point I get from this is that David wanted to be close to God. He had to come out of his hiding and confess his sin, but in closeness to God David found his greatest joy. Sin separates you from fellowship with God, but it doesn’t hide you from his presence. God’s omnipresent hand will always be on us, but confession and repentance are what he asks in order for us to experience God’s hand in a good way. Then, we can see what he sees as he guides us with his eye in the way of his steadfast love.
I want God’s hand to be upon me, but only when it is accompanied with his guiding eye. When his eye sees unconfessed sin, his good hand becomes heavy and all my hope dries up. I forget the blessings of being his child and my way becomes dark. In Christ, he’s already forgiven me of all my sins and has promised that I will never stand condemned before him again. Best to be honest about my sin, confess it and repent of it, and experience the good hand and the guiding eye of a loving heavenly Father.